Fall Volunteer Day, Oct. 13

A volunteer day will be held on Saturday Oct. 13 from 9 am.- 11:30 am. at the park. We invite anyone interested in helping out to come for whatever length of time you can. We will be cleaning up a garden, cutting back invasive poplars, and cleaning the polyhouses for winter. Refreshments will be available. Please email Claire at reflect@vaxxine.com if you can come or have any questions.
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Committee Meeting Monday Oct. 1

The Advisory Committeee of the Friends will meet at the Parks and Recreation Services building at 320 Geneva St. at 6:30 pm on Oct. 1. Interested members of the public are welcome to attend.
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Controlled/ Prescribed Burn of the Prairie April 9, 2018

The Friends completed an official Burn Plan and held a controlled burn of the 5 acre prairie on April 9. The purpose is to burn off dead plant material from the previous year, and non prairie plants that have started to grow. The ash provides nutrients for the prairie grasses and wildflowers, which start growth later. The fire also damages or kills invasive shrubs. The goal is to restore native southern Ontario prairie ecosystem here, which is threatened and rare in the province. The burn will be held every 2 years. The park was closed for the morning. A team
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Thanks to TD grant for pollinator gardens

With help from a generous TD Friends of the Environment grant, we planted dozens of wildflowers and grasses that attract pollinators in the prairie this year. In July and August, the yellow and purple blooms were a great splash of colour and full of bees, wasps, butterflies and birds. We also created 2 pollinator gardens near the park entrance, that showcase the importance of these native plants for the community. Sincere thanks to TD Friends of the Environment for their support.! With the focus on plants that encourage pollinators, our annual Earth Day Plant Sale sold out of them rapidly!
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Governor Simcoe Students Help Plant Native Plants

On October 21, students from Governor Simcoe High School environmental group, led by Jocelyn Black and teacher Joanne, joined the Friends to plant native shrubs and wildflowers in the prairie area of the park. Councillor Mike Britton (centre) also took part in the planting, and on this his first visit, he said he had learned a lot about park history and goals. The Friends and the student group  hope to have an ongoing partnership that gives the students volunteer hours, and promotes native species in our community.
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City Donates 20 Bur Oaks to the Park

On November 16, the City of St. Catharines, with help from interested community members, will plant 20 Bur Oak trees in the Park. Anyone in the community is invited to help.These trees were left after the October community tree giveaway event, and will now beautify our nature park. Bur Oaks are a significant native tree, providing food and habitat for birds and mammals. Several will be planted in the Learning Area near the entrance from Lakeshore Rd. and others in the edge and woods areas. Why not take a stroll through the park this fall to enjoy the trees and
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New Studies on the Forest and Water Bodies!

2 teams of students from Niagara College, under the leadership of Josh Diamond, acting Chair of the Friends, have completed studies on the forest, and on the water bodies at the park. This is the first time that such inventories have been done, and will provide vital data to create a baseline for understanding the characteristics and health of these parts of the park. For a summary of the study findings, please see the latest issue, #18 of the Pin Oak newsletter. Congratulations and thanks to Josh and his team!  
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Port Weller School Enviro Club at the Park

           On Tuesday Feb. 7, the birds that live in Malcolmson Eco-Park were treated to pine cones covered with lard and seeds to add to their winter food supply. The Port Weller School enviro club made and hung these pine cones in the Learning Area section. Then, they took an hour walk through the park, led by their teachers Katie and Sue. They asked lots of questions, and were very observant of animal and bird habitat, and tree species. Its great to see that they are learning a lot about the natural world. We have invited their club to join in
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Thank You TD Environment Fund for New Sign!

Thanks to the generous support of TD Friends of the Environment, we have replaced the damaged amphibian wetland sign with a  new one more resistant to vandalism. !  The new location, just outside the forest by the first path heading east, is more visible so will be less tempting to graffiti artists. Also thanks to Harris Signs of St. Catharines for the great graphics on the sign. The wetland is dry now after a long hot summer, but will be wet and vibrant next spring with frogs, toads and marsh plants. Irises, reeds, and grasses were planted in November by students from Niagara
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Port Weller School environmental club visit

  On April 27, the Port Weller school environmental club came to the park for an adventure !  The students, parents, and teacher, Katie Wood, planted prairie grasses and wildflowers in the open area. They saw some migrating birds, and heard about plants, insects and birds that can be seen in the park. We really appreciate their contribution to growing more native plants in the park, for habitat and food for native insects and birds. Hopefully they will come again! You can see the students thank you card  below. MalcolmsonStudentThanks  
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